Johnny Winter passed away earlier this year, but that's not stopping his soon-to-be-released final album, Step Back, from being one of his many fine contributions to the world of blues rock. Above you can hear the latest single from the record, "Mojo Hand," featuring Aerosmith's Joe Perry.
The Muddy Waters' influenced tune shows mastery of blues guitar, with a straight forward shuffle rhythm and dark sludgy underpinnings. This isn't your grandpa's blues guitar, which shows exactly Johnny Winter's place in the musical universe: he moved the blues forward with great energy and a unique voice that was gritty and soulful
Speaking with Billboard, Johnny Winter's manager and the man producing the record, Paul Nelson, talked about bringing on the guest stars and Joe Perry in particular:
Nelson says that, not surprisingly, "no one said no" when approached to be part of Step Back. He did delay the album a bit in order to accommodate Clapton's schedule, while the Perry collaboration on Lightnin' Hopkins' "Mojo Hand" "came out of left field. I mentioned Joe Perry to Johnny. He liked Aerosmith, so I said, 'How would you feel about having Perry on there?' We contacted them and Joe was so respectful just for getting the call. He said, 'Paul, you don't understand what this means for me. I wouldn't have picked up the guitar if it wasn't for Johnny,' and he talked about 'TV Mama' being his favorite song. All of these guys went out of their way to be part of it, a) because they all learned from him and b) because they all knew a comeback was happening here."
Step Back is set for official release on September 2nd. Order it on Amazon.
Also be sure to check out Johnny Winter's collaboration with ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons: "Where Can You Be."